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Harmonic Experience: Tonal Harmony from Its Natural Origins to Its Modern Expression Hardcover – August 1, 1997
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"This volume offers experiential keys to help unlock the mystery of how music works its deep affect upon us. Harmonic Experience extends any reader's understanding of music and is a user-friendly, elegant and graceful work. It is a technical treatise about the inner workings of music." (Daniel Atesh Sonneborn, Smithsonian Institution)
"Mathieu's books are worth reading for anyone in any field of music--jazz, classical, gospel, or any other. He's found the words to tell the power of music." (Pete Seeger, folksinger)
"This book goes beyond what most textbooks offer, and its highly original pedagogy deserves the attention of every teacher of harmony. Above all, this is a book for anyone who would like to acquire harmony as a lived experience rather than as mere memorization of unyielding rules on paper." (Chien-Chang Yang, Quarterly Journal of the MLA)
"Mathieu is consistently proving himself to be one of the best in musical theory." (John Coltrane in Downbeat Magazine)
About the Author
W. A. Mathieu is the author of The Listening Book and The Musical Life. His compositions and solo piano music have been extensively recorded. He lives in Sebastopol, California, where he writes, composes, and teaches.
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This book offers food for the soul - as it blends the technical with the experiential in its lucid exposition of the universal art of music.
Here, analogy and humor balance with science to evoke a deeper cognizance of the varied facets of this multi-cultural form of human experience.
Here too, the universal power of the 'Divine Art' of Music is well-expressed, so that it may be passed on - in the tradition of the 'bards' of every age.
Any musical novice, journeyman, or master would benefit from the experience that this book offers. Many thanks to Maestro Mathieu.
As one who has been involved all his life in the field of music (40+ years), i can say that this is the most important book i know for anyone interested in music theory, improvisation and composition.
This book differs from most other musical theory books in that it encourages you to experience how music evolved and harmony grew out of the natural harmonics that occur in strings and other instruments. It gives you the theory and some of the physcis, but must importantly it provides exercises to give you the FELT SENSE of what each concept corresponds to. This is both at the emotional and somatic levels.
This is a very natural way to learn and embody harmony. It makes use of chanting intervals with a string drone or note from an instrument or tuning fork. It teaches you how to listen for harmonics and explains how these harmonics naturally lead to the contruction of certain chords and scales. It is really a "ground up" approach as one reviewer said and an eye opener even for most musicians.
The book encouraged the use of Indian syllables for the musical exercises, which was a bit difficult for me. However, the ideas behind the exercises were great and could be converted to do, re, mi, fa, so, la, di, do. I must confess, however, that at times this was a bit of an annoyance, but totally forgivable given what I took away from this book!